Deanne Goodman calls herself a “backpack journalist”—and she could well be the face of 21st-century journalism.
As local editor for AOL Patch in Carlsbad, Calif., Goodman shoots video, takes photos and writes news copy for the hyper-local online news outlet in San Diego’s northern suburbs. Goodman, who totes the electronic tools of her trade about town in a backpack, also oversees a stable of 15 freelance writers and columnists who contribute to the digital news operation, one of more than 500 Patch sites across the nation.
Goodman recently attended a weeklong seminar for nontraditional journalists at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., and was among 900 journalists hired by Patch in 2010. AOL aims to provide local news once delivered by the print press.
Goodman came to Carlsbad Patch in August 2010 when it went live. She says the assignment is a big improvement over her work as a reporter and anchor on local television news channels, where crime stories predominate. She has reported about the town’s senior-citizen volunteer patrol, a service dog that works with autistic kids, and the latest news from Carlsbad schools, which she attended as a child. Although there are 12 Patch sites in the San Diego region, Goodman is the only Carlsbad Patch employee, so she runs the news operation from her home.
“It’s a great change of pace from TV news,” says Goodman. “The stories are more positive, and they are community-focused. It’s a perfect fit for me.”
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